Department of Museum Studies: Research Seminar Programme, 7th Nov 2007

Wednesday 7 November 1 p.m.
Lecture Room, 105 Princess Road East

Engage, Learn, Achieve: The impact of museum visits on the attainment of secondary school pupils in the East of England 2006 - 2007 (research by RCMG, the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries)

Dr Sheila Watson and Ms Ceri Jones, Department of Museum Studies, University of Leicester
Research into museum learning has established that museums are sites that emotionally engage, inspire and encourage learning amongst secondary school pupils.

This paper by Sheila Watson, Jocelyn Dodd and Ceri Jones considers whether museums can make a difference to attainment in secondary schools when a piece of assessed work is linked to a museum visit?

Using case studies from the East of England, and drawing on previous research within RCMG this presentation will examine the challenges of working with museums offering a range of educational programmes and with pupils from a range of backgrounds and abilities. Both qualitative and quantitative methodology has been used to measure the pupil response to the museum visit. Comparisons with previously assessed pieces of work as well as the pupils’ own self assessment of their progress along with observations of visits all consider the impact on attainment of the museum visit.

Sheila Watson concise biography
Sheila taught history in various secondary schools before moving into museum education. She has considerable experience working in museums as an education officer and as a manager. As Area Museums Officer in Great Yarmouth in Norfolk she managed three museums and an art gallery, established a heritage partnership and led the redisplay of three museums including Time and Tide: the Museum of Great Yarmouth Life, short listed for the Gulbenkian Award. She has experience of working in regeneration programmes and successfully bid for, and managed, large externally funded projects. She joined the Department of Museum Studies in 2003. Her research interests include the way in which history in museums contributes to identity and how museums are spaces in which identities are made, controlled, reinforced and manipulated. She is also interested in the intangible and how the museum deals with concepts such as myth and memory.

Ceri Jones, Research Associate
Ceri Jones joined the Department of Museum Studies in September 2002 as a Research Assistant for the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries to support the piloting of the Generic Learning Outcomes developed by RCMG as part of MLA’s Inspiring Learning for All initiative.

Since then, Ceri has been part of the research team investigating diverse subjects such as cross-domain learning, the attitudes and perceptions of disabled people towards history, heritage and museums, and the social value of museums, archives and libraries, as well as being involved in large-scale evaluations for the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).


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